Administration Minister Kuščević Resigns

By 9 July 2019

ZAGREB, July 9, 2019 - Public Administration Minister and Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) political secretary Lovro Kuščević resigned from both posts on Monday, and Prime Minister and HDZ president Andrej Plenković told reporters after a marathon meeting in the party's headquarters that he had accepted Kuščević's resignations.

"Minister Kuščević and I talked upon my return from Poland and over the weekend and today. He tendered his resignation as both public administration minister and as the HDZ's political secretary. As prime minister and party president, I accepted his resignation and... he will return to parliament," said Plenković.

"Given all the activities in recent weeks in public and the media, we estimated that a lot of damage is being done to him personally and, of course, to the government and the HDZ, and that there's no point anymore," Plenković said, adding that it was now up to Kuščević "to resolve all the doubts that appear in public and make his political activity possible."

"I'm a responsible politician. I've been in politics a long time," Kuščević said, adding that "it's clear to me that this negative perception in the media, the basis of all the unfounded attacks on me, represents a big burden on both the party and the government."

"I don't want to be a burden to this government, which is doing a good job and has excellent results, so that these results can be even better," Kuščević added.

The opposition and the government's coalition partners had been calling for Kuščević's resignation due to alleged scandals involving real estate on the island of Brač.

Last Thursday, the parliament added to the agenda a motion by the opposition, which collected 43 signatures, for a vote of no confidence in Kuščević.

The opposition claimed that while Kuščević was the head of Nerežišće municipality on Brač island, and later as minister, he showed that the protection of public interest was not important for him, that he continually put his own private property interests before public interest, and that he abused his position, gaining millions of kuna."

The Croatian People's Party (HNS), which recently proposed that Public Administration Minister Lovro Kuščević be replaced, welcomed his resignation on Monday and said that no one who used political influence for personal gain must hold a public office.

"For us in the HNS, it's a question of every politician's moral and political responsibility, while possible criminal accountability will be established by the relevant authorities," the HDZ's ruling coalition partner said in a press release.

The HNS said it would continue to talk with its coalition partners, starting at Tuesday's ruling coalition meeting, about relations with the HDZ in future and its own political priorities, such as raising salaries for 68,000 employees in elementary and high schools.

More news about former minister Kuščević can be found in the Politics section.